We are extremely delighted to introduce today's guest blogger, author J.D. Brown. Follow the links at the end of her post to get your copy of her debut novel, Dark Heirloom. Welcome J.D.!
Thanks, everyone, for joining me at The Speculative Salon – and a big thank you to the ladies hosting me today. :) I’m J.D. Brown, the author Dark Heirloom and I’m here talk about one specific element of fictional world building, and that is element of organizing a fictional government, but more specifically, a paranormal government….
Ever notice how vampires tend to have their own form of government? They’re not mindless monsters anymore, they’re an organized people. It’s not always explained in the stories, sometimes it’s simply implied, but it’s almost always present in one way or another.
Part of the fun of writing Dark Heirloom was creating and organizing the different vampyre clans and today I’m sharing the inner workings of my vampyre hierarchy.
All the vampyres and vampires in Dark Heirloom’s world belong to a specific clan (excluding Ema). Clans are similar to countries; each one has its specific territorial boarders and body of government. But belonging to a clan is not like being a citizen in the sense that it really has nothing to do with were the vampire lives.
A vampire’s clan is dictated by the vampire’s linage. They’re kind of obsessed with origins. Therefore, a vampire’s clan is the same as his sire’s clan and so on and so forth, no matter where the vampire moves to, it stays with them for life. In fact, they use their clan’s name as their surname.
There are several clans spanning over the entire world and they're classified into two groups; the Major clans and the Minor clans. The Major clans, of course, being the larger nations with territories that may span over several modern-day countries. The Minor clans are made up of much smaller groups, including sub-clans that may exist with-in the Major ones.
The Major clans are each ruled by a king or queen (or in some cases, a prince or princess – they aren’t granted king/queen status until they are married) in a simplified version of a constitutional monarchy. And I’ll admit, it’s simplified for the sake of my sanity. :-)
The governing body of each clan is called a Council and each council is made up of four branches; the Head, the Hands, the Arms, and the Councilmen.
The Head is the king or queen and they are the highest order of the law, though they are not all-powerful.
The Hands are three members of the council appointed by the Head that work closely together to aid the Head in his/her normal tasks. They can sometimes stand in for the Head and make final decisions for small tasks that don’t really require the Head’s direct attention.
The Arms are similar to governor of the state. They uphold the law on a slightly more local level than the Head or the Hands. The number of Arms in each clan depends on how large the clan is; bigger clans will have larger councils.
The Councilmen are local area representatives that act as the voice of the civilian vampires. This group can be very large depending on the size and population of the clan, but they hold the least amount of power within the hierarchy.
The Minor clans sometimes only have a leader and a few advisers, depending on how small they are.
There is also the High Blood Council which can be thought of as similar to the United Nations. The Heads and occasionally the Hands of the Major clans meet at the High Blood Council to form treaties with one another and discuss broader topics such as whether or not they should continue to avoid humans. ;-)
Of course they weren’t always this organized…not so long ago they followed an absolute monarchy that produced a lot of war and bloodshed. But that’s a story for another time…
Title: Dark Heirloom
Author: J.D. Brown
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run; there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst, Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/SmXHBli2yRw
About the Author:
J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghosts. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D. enjoys helping and promoting her fellow writers and leads an active life on the web. She also writes erotic romance for the MuseItHOT division under the pen name Danielle Ravencraft.